Deader Than Ever

bearGoing to a Grateful Dead concert never gets old. I’ve being going for 45+ years so obviously I’ve seen the band age (as I have as well). I did see the original line-up with Jerry and Pigpen (Ron McKernan) back in the early 70s, though Pigpen died in 1973. (I also saw the Allman Brothers with Duane and Greg during the early 70s). I obviously enjoyed seeing the original Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers; though I didn’t fully appreciate the original line-up at the time. I’ve stopped counting the number of Dead shows though I’m at 50+, which still only puts me in the lesser tier of true Deadheads.

Today’s incarnation of the Grateful Dead, Dead & Company, includes John Mayer on lead guitar and vocals. Mayer joined the band last year, post “Fare Thee Well”. I thought, “How was this pop star going to make the Dead better?” I underestimated his talent as a musician, and the energy he provides to the band.

13442267_10154730100306490_2157295169242620706_nI was excited to see this leg of the Dead & Company tour, having seen them last Fall and I went to see their Camden, NJ show at the BB&T Pavilion. Check out the family photo with our daughter Carolyn in our dancing bears shirts. Like most Dead shows I left exhilarated about the songs I really wanted to hear and heard (In this case Bertha, Playing in the Band, Eyes of the World, Not Fade Away, and Ripple) but crestfallen about the many more I wish they played. There is no show that covers the waterfront, though here’s my ultimate set list.

But the band was great, the sound was strong and I’d put Monday’s show in the middle of the pack of the 50+ shows. Here was the Camden, NJ show set list:

First Set

1. Bertha
2. Shakedown Street
3. West L.A. Fadeaway
4. Row Jimmy
5. Crazy Fingers
6. I Need a Miracle
7. Big Railroad Blues

Second set

8. Playing in the Band
9. The Wheel
10. Eyes of the World
11. Standing on the Moon
12. Let It Grow
13. Drums
14. Space
15. All Along the Watchtower
16. Morning Dew
17. Not Fade Away


18. Ripple

Since the next bad Dead show I attend will be the first, I can’t wait to see them again. Long after their members pass (hopefully not soon), their music will live forever.

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